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In Act __, how does Shakespeare show his audience the consequenses of Macbeth...

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gemmalouise95 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 19, 2011 at 3:31 AM via web

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In Act __, how does Shakespeare show his audience the consequenses of Macbeth succumbing to his tragic flaw?

Basically, I'm struggling to pick which Act shows this the best? I was thinking maybe Act 3 or 4 or am I totally on the wrong page in thinking this? Please help me, it would be a great help!

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wshoe | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted October 19, 2011 at 3:43 AM (Answer #1)

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In Act V Macbeth really suffers the consequences of his actions.  In addition to losing his wife and his crown, he realizes that he has nothing in life that honorable men enjoy.  He knows that those who are with him give him "mouth honor" instead of true respect.  He is friendless and has lost his good reputation.  He will be remembered for his cruel ambition instead of being honored as he was in Act I.

 

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steven-griffin | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted October 19, 2011 at 4:57 AM (Answer #2)

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In Act IV we see how far Macbeth has descended when he orchestrates the killing of Macduff's family. These people are not a threat to Macbeth, but he has them killed only because of their relationship to Macduff. When Macduff hears of the fate of his family, he vows to kill Macbeth "But, gentle heavens... bring thou this fiend of Scotland and myself, within my sword's length set him. IV,3

It is ironic that the killing of his family is what fuels Macduff's rage in Act V which results in the death and beheading of Macbeth.

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